Whether you already have a cold air intake or you’re thinking of purchasing one, it’s a good idea to know what kind of maintenance it requires. Air intakes are known for adding power to your vehicle, and luckily for you, cold air intake systems – even those of the highest quality – don’t require much extra work, time or money to keep them going strong.
You may want to refer to the owner’s manual for specifics, but as with any given component, you can count on certain requirements. Read on to find out which.
The Five Steps
- First off, educate yourself about the proper cleaning intervals and the amount of oil you should use. Some manufacturers will include exact specifications, but a good benchmark is every 30,000 miles or so, unless you spend a lot of driving time in extremely dusty areas. Such a lifestyle obviously requires more regular inspections.
- Inspect your filter by holding it up to a light source. You shouldn’t be able to see through it or expose any obvious holes when you look from the inside-out. If you notice an air gap, it’s time for a new filter. Or, see if you can make an adjustment to the filter media to restore the original surface area.
- Good cleaning technique includes oiling, drying, carefully using compressed air – again, from the inside-out – and bending pleats to remove debris from the filter. The steps may need to be repeated if you’re dealing with an excessive amount of contaminants. Using a nylon bristle brush is OK, but don’t use a metal brush as this could potentially tear the filter media and pleats.
- Look over the clamps and tubing to ensure proper routing and prevent rubbing, as things can shift over time. Leave the clamps just loose enough to make minor adjustments to the entire system should the need arise, then systematically tighten each one after satisfactory orientation and fitment/clearance is achieved.
- Finally, you can use pre-filters and hydro-shields to increase the service interval and reduce maintenance and potential for hydro-locking (when water gets into the motor and causes engine damage).
What's the Best Brand of Air Intakes?
Now that you know what will be asked of you, it’s time to decide which air intake you should ride with – if you haven’t already purchased one. To help you find out which is best for your vehicle, take a look at the intake reviews we offer on our website, and find out what consumers are saying about popular brands and styles, like the AEM Cold Air Intake or the Takeda Intake.Or, you can do a vehicle-specific search to find out what kind of power gains you can expect for your year, make and model. You may even want to search for other performance-enhancing parts, like a throttle body spacer and a mass air flow sensor, to get the best results from your cold air intake.